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Thursday, February 3, 2011

white arroyo

It was fairly cold this morning. Ice in the birdbath again. I can’t find the post from the last time this happened but it did and I posted it and well I don’t really feel like searching for it but some other winter I guess. The thing that’s interesting about this ice in the birdbath thing is that I don’t think it actually got down to freezing last night or the time before. Maybe the time before but not last night. So how can you get ice without freezing temperatures? Uh, well, you probably can’t but what you might be able to do is create a localized colder temperature zone in the birdbath by accident.

So here’s my guess: The birdbath is just a ceramic bowl, a cat bowl, I think there’s a little image of a paw on the bottom, ahh. And there’s some water in it. Not much last night – just what was left over from last weekend’s one centimeter of rain (the only rain we’ve had all calendar year.) The cat dish is resting on top of a steel cake pan that fits perfectly inside of the opening at the top of the chiminea. Why is there a cake pan in the top of the chiminea? It keeps the rain out of the chiminea and the wood dry – that’s the idea anyway, it sort of works a little. Now that I think about it I don’t really have a guess about why or how the H2O or bowl could be colder than the surrounding air, but those are the physical conditions, the parameters, that surround the magical birdbath that freezes at above freezing temperatures.

So… on my run through the Arroyo this morning there was white all over the ground in the shadows. Not snow. That would be awesome. Someday. But frost, it was. Frozen dewdrops or transpiration drops on all the low lying grasses and other weeds that are choking the Arroyo groundcover to death. It was pretty cool, figuratively, well, and I guess literally, too. I missed the best part of the show having arrived there a little too late in the morning. If I’d been there earlier it would have been coated in white just about everywhere. As it was I only got the remnants in the deep nooks and shadows. No wonder my feet were cold…

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